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Respectful Young here to learn QB excited to work with Gailey, Lee

There was no "Dream Team" talk coming from Vince Young on Tuesday.

The Buffalo Bills' new backup quarterback was a publicist's dream, saying all the right things in his first meeting with the Western New York media.

"It's an opportunity to play the game that I love," Young said. "That's my biggest thing."

Young spent about 10 minutes fielding questions from reporters on a variety of topics, from why he chose Buffalo, to how he's adjusting to a backup role and how he's matured over the years. He also explained exactly what he meant by "Dream Team."

To review, after signing a one-year deal with Philadelphia last offseason, Young called it a "dream team," when asked to describe the moves the Eagles had made in free agency.

When those moves failed to pan out, Young's comments became easy fodder for critics.

"What I was basically saying is just the respect of the players. Just like we have here, we have a lot of respectable players on this team as well," Young said. "From Fitz, from Jax [Fred Jackson], it's a long list of guys. I definitely won't make that comment again because it was definitely blown out of proportion. It's just to show you that it's the respect I have for the players that were around in that locker room."

Young, who turns 29 Friday, is on another one-year deal. He's accepting of the backup role.

"All you can do is come in and work. This league is crazy from injury-wise, all kind of things. I'm not wishing that on [Ryan Fitzpatrick]. He's our starting quarterback and I'm behind him 100 percent," Young said. " Not just at my position but any position on a football field, you have to be always ready because you never know what's going to happen."

The Bills have also made it quite clear that Fitzpatrick is their guy and Young is here to challenge Tyler Thigpen for the backup role.

"We're always looking to try to improve our team, to get deeper and to get more competition. That's what this is. It's a competition for the backup quarterback job," General Manager Buddy Nix said last week.

Young was drawn to Buffalo by the chance to work with head coach Chan Gailey and quarterbacks coach David Lee.

"Coach Lee, I know he's been trying to recruit me for a long time -- since I was coming out of high school to come to Arkansas," Young said. "To get a chance to come here to study, work hard and listen to the knowledge that they have -- I thought that was a great opportunity for myself."

Young is coming from an offense that featured more five- and seven-step drops, a change from the quick-passing scheme the Bills have favored under Fitzpatrick. Gailey, though, has shown the ability to tailor his offense to a player's skill set.

"It shows you the great coach that he is. He understands his players. You've got to respect that," Young said. "You want to be one of those guys that just sits there, learns, pays attention and keeps your mouth closed. He knows what he's doing."

Young went 1-2 as a starter in relief of Michael Vick last season, completing 57.9 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Eagles signed former Bills quarterback Trent Edwards this offseason to replace him.

Young increased his time in the film room last year with Philadelphia coach Andy Reid, something he plans to continue this season.

"My whole thing is sitting in behind the scenes with Coach Lee and trying to learn and try to filter in as much knowledge as I can get with this new playbook and terminology," he said.

While Young's numbers with the Eagles are underwhelming, his career body of work supports the argument that he provides solid depth behind Fitzpatrick. The former No. 3 overall pick of the 2006 draft has a 31-19 record as a starter. He's completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 8,964 yards, 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. He's also rushed for 1,459 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and 12 TDs.

"All I know is he's a talented guy that said all the right things when he was here," Gailey said last week when Young's signing was announced. "So I'm looking forward to working with him."

email: jskurski@buffnews.com